| Everyone Else Has Posted About This and Now I Have Too
||[Apr. 23rd, 2008|08:30 pm]
Some words about the "Sexual Assault Project:" Let's face it, that's what it was no matter what cleverly deceptive name some fanboys want to give it.
Other people much smarter, better educated and more experienced than me have addressed this horror and done a much better job than I ever could of explaining what's wrong with it and why it's objectifying at best and sexual assault, and anyone who hasn't seen it should check out the many posts linked in this post for more coherent, intelligent responses. My own little rant is mostly about my own feelings and boy, did this set them off. I've been stewing over it for a couple of days now.
And no, this is not a nicely organized persuasive argument. It's me sounding off.
Okay, first of all I will admit upfront that I hate being touched unless I am extremely comfortable with the person touching me, and I prefer to be the one initiating the touching. Being touched by a man makes me feel uncomfortable (but I can kind of tolerate it). Being touched by a woman makes me flinch at best and occasionally makes me run away. When I was at my sister's wedding (I guess a day or so before the actual wedding) she tried to hug me and I didn't just flinch, I jumped. She still doesn't know I can't stand to have women touching me (and especially not why) and I am not ready to talk to her about it, so I know it probably hurt her feelings and I'm sorry for that. It was just a simple hug. My breasts are an even bigger deal than that. Even when I'm comfortable with a man, I really prefer not to have my breasts or nipples touched. I'll let it happen sometimes, but I always feel like I'm giving in when I do and sick afterwards. I am a pretty good actress, though, so I usually soldier on through it. Or rather, I used to. I don't do that anymore.
In an atmosphere like the one described in theferrett's post, I don't know if I'd be able to put up a front. I'd feel like I had to do it. I know I would. When I was active in the bdsm community I did stuff I did not want to do all the time, because I felt peer-pressured into it, or because I thought it would make my partner like me better. And in those circumstances it's up to me to get myself out of that scene. But fuck, I should not have to worry about that at a sci-fi/fantasy con. I shouldn't have to get myself out of the "scene" if all I'm doing is buying a print in the dealers' room or in a roundtable or just hanging out people watching or even in the bar. And I can just see stuff like this bleeding over into ren faires and other events that have some overlap with the fannish community and it SHOULDN’T be at any of them. EVER.
Another thing that bugs me about this is that it reminds me a lot of the free-love idiocy of the late 1960s and 1970s. There was a lot of, "if you don't want to be fucked by me/us/whatever you must be repressed." That attitude, that pressure, was wrong then and it is wrong now and it's about 35% of why I hate hippies so fucking much.
Additionally, I resent the women who are so aggressively speaking up in favor of the "Project," both in the comments to theferrett's post and in comments to other posts. I resent the hell out of them. I don't care if they are okay with being touched. Their okayness with being touched is not the point. Their being vocal about being okay with being groped and willingness to wear the buttons is peer pressure, pure and simple. I don't care if they don't mean for it to be peer pressure. It is. I feel sorry for them, I hope they mature some and get to feeling better about themselves so that they don't need objectification any longer but I still want them to shut up. (And if you are on the pro side of speaking positively about the Sexual Assault Project, don't bother commenting. I will not give you a voice in my journal, so your comment will be deleted and you'll be banned. I'm not here to debate tonight, I'm here to vent.)
Also. If the dude who posted about this looks anything like his icon picture, you better believe he'd never get to lay a hand on me. He looks a) predatory and b) extremely nonconformist to me and that's a combination I view as seriously dangerous, like murder-the-family-with-an-ax-then-blow-up-the-elementary-school dangerous. (For the record, it's not that he's looks nonconformist or that he looks predatory, it's the combination. Predatory men always bother me; IMO predatory nonconformists sometimes have a psychopathic chip on their shoulder.) His appearance together with his views on females as expressed in that post will give me nightmares for years.
I got a sneaking suspicion some of the dudes involved in this little mess are sitting around shaking their heads and wondering how their little fun time went so balls up and chuckling or grousing over how all these "little ladies" are so hysterical over nothing. I have that suspicion because I've read comments to the original post and in this post and it's obvious that is going on at least to some extent. That makes me oh so much angrier. No, I don't want to punch these creeps. That would be stooping to their level. I want them on some sort of fandom shun list. Really, since I believe with all my heart that the people who did this were committing sexual assault, I want them prosecuted, convicted and put on the sexual predators list. Yeah, I do. I said that and I mean it. That's how angry the not getting it makes me.
Would I go to a con after this? Well, probably not. I wasn't going anyway, so it's hard for me to tell if this affects my views on the subject. But I kind of think it does.